If your website stores any kind of patient medical records, you will need to make sure that your web host complies with HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). This primarily means that your web hosting plan must have extra security features, such as data encryption, firewalls, and intrusion detection systems, as well as additional support, including guaranteed response times. This article will give you an overview of what HIPAA-compliant hosting is and why it's important. We also included our top picks for the best HIPAA-compliant hosting providers based on features, price, and customer reviews.
We vetted hosts for industry-leading infrastructure, security, backups, and secondary storage. Then we reviewed their disaster recovery and physical security plans.
We singled out hosts with the highest quality of 24/7 customer support. Then we cross-referenced against our large database of user reviews.
Amazon Web Services
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is one of the most well-known cloud hosting providers, with customers ranging from health insurers to hospitals. AWS meets the standards outlined by FedRAMP and NIST 800-53, and requires a Business Associate Addendum (BAA) from customers in order to enter into an HIPAA-compliant relationship.
AWS also offers a Quick Start guide including templates that can help you develop an HIPAA-compliant Linux-based web application in less than 30 minutes. This includes Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) buckets to encrypt your web content, logs, and backups, as well as alerts and monitoring with CloudWatch and CloudTrail.
Pricing is highly variable and based on usage. You can choose a pay-as-you-go model so you never pay for more than what you use, or buy Reserved Instances up front for a substantial discount. Some services offer tiered pricing, so as your usage grows, you'll pay less per GB. You can use the AWS Pricing Calculator to estimate your costs.
Based on usage
>24/7 Support >Server Types: Cloud >Database Backups: Available >More features at AWS
Pros & Cons of Amazon Web Services Web Hosting
AWS is a well-rounded hosting provider that offers plenty of flexibility and scalability. You'll only pay for the resources you need, and can adjust your plan to meet your company's size and system requirements. However, customer support isn't very hands-on, and the platform can be difficult to learn. If you'll need help running it, you can sign up for AWS hosting with a managed cloud provider instead.
>Limited customer support
What Customers Are Saying
AWS customers range from major healthcare providers to nonprofits and government agencies. One customer says that "Using AWS has made it possible for us to engage our patients more directly — and offer them a reliable and efficient experience."
Another says, "We were able to get the cloud infrastructure up and running in a record amount of time, at a much lower cost than we could have done ourselves."
Aptible promises to help you "launch apps and databases that are audit-ready," using data encryption, automatic backups, and audit logging to ensure compliance. Aptible also offers detailed documentation and compliance guides to get you started.
You can choose from one of two Aptible products, Comply and Deploy, depending on your company's needs. Comply is designed to help you reduce the manual labor that's required to maintain compliance, with automated compliance tools for SOC 2, GDPR, HIPAA, and more, so you can focus on customers and partnerships instead.
Deploy is a managed alternative to AWS, that will help you skip the "19 steps" required to deploy on AWS if you were to do it yourself. It includes automated DevOps tools to help small teams maintain compliance without a security or compliance expert.
Pricing is pay-as-you-go based on disk space, VPN connections, and other factors, with a minimum of $499 per month for a dedicated stack. The Standard support option is $0 per month and is limited to U.S. business hours, while the Enterprise package is $1,499 and includes 24/7 support for urgent tickets.
$499 and up
>Disk Space: 0 - 4 TB >Database Backups: Yes >24/7 Support: Available >More features at Aptible
Pros & Cons of Aptible Web Hosting
Aptible is a hosting provider for users who want to maintain HIPAA compliance without the hassle of setting up AWS themselves. Aptible's automated tools make it easy to set up and deploy HIPAA-compliant systems, although the cost of Premium and Enterprise support plans may add a significant amount to your estimated monthly costs.
One customer says that "Aptible enabled us to develop our application more efficiently and to breeze through hospital security audits, saving us effort and speeding up our sales process." Another says, "Aptible makes it possible for small teams like ours to access HIPAA-compliant hosting out of the box."
Armor, previously known as Firehost, provides fully-managed HIPAA-compliant hosting and supports hybrid cloud and multi-cloud environments. Its services are CSF-certified by HITRUST, and focused on security-driven compliance, with 24/7/365 monitoring and support. Armor claims that you can set it up in minutes and be audit-ready right out of the box.
Since pricing varies widely depending on which type of hosting you need, you'll have to take a 30-second assessment to get an estimate. You can choose from private, public, and hybrid clouds, and specify the number of servers you'll need. Armor offers public cloud hosting with AWS, Azure, and other providers.
When it comes to compliance, Armor provides inherited HITRUST controls and claims that "our CISO is your CISO." That means you'll get streamlined audits and hands-on guidance if you run into any challenges with compliance. Additional security features include intrusion detection, file integrity monitoring, and vulnerability scanning.
>Server Types: Private Cloud, Hybrid Cloud, Public Cloud, On-Premise >24/7 Support >Database Backups: Yes >More features at Armor (previously Firehost)
Pros & Cons of Armor Web Hosting
Armor is a security-focused web hosting provider that can help you meet your HIPAA obligations. Its 24/7 security and hands-on auditing support makes it worth a look for businesses with sensitive data, but its lack of a transparent pricing structure means you'll have to do some research to find out how much it will cost your team.
>24/7 security >Advanced backups
>Custom pricing only
What Customers Are Saying
Several customers praise Armor's security tools: "With Armor and AWS combined, we now have protection in key portions of our tech stack and visibility into potential areas for improvement." Another says, "We are getting 24-hour surveillance for our servers and benefiting from the knowledge Armor has about attacker tactics."
Atlantic.Net has been audited by a third-party to ensure HIPAA compliance, complete with SSAE 18 certification, SSL certificates, and business associate agreements. One of their notable offerings is HIPAA-compliant WordPress hosting, with a fully managed firewall, intrusion prevention service, and an encrypted VPN. You'll also get a 256-bit encrypted backup and log management system.
Atlantic.Net supports both Linux and Windows servers, with prices ranging from $8 to $544 per month for Linux hosting and $14.50 to $893 per month for Windows hosting. However, you'll have to reach out for a customized quote tailored to your needs.
Other features include access, audit, and integrity controls, as well as person or entity authentication, and other WordPress tools and plugins. Atlantic.Net provides a handy HIPAA-compliant hosting checklist outlining all of the security features you'll need.
Atlantic.Net offers hosting at 5 U.S. data centers, with additional locations in Toronto, London, Singapore, and Amsterdam. You'll also get access to a 24/7/365 dedicated support team, available by either email or phone.
Linux: $8/month - $544/month
Windows: $14.50/month - $893/month
>24/7 Support >SSL Certificate >Database Backups >More features at Atlantic.Net
Pros & Cons of Atlantic.Net Web Hosting
Atlantic.Net's HIPAA-compliant WordPress plans make it a good option for businesses of all sizes, although it may involve a bit of a learning curve for new users. cPanel isn't included — you'll have to pay an additional fee for it — and pricing depends on your usage, so you'll have to request a custom quote rather than choosing a pre-set plan.
>HIPAA-compliant WordPress hosting >24/7 support >International data centers
>cPanel costs an additional fee
What Customers Are Saying
Customers have found Atlantic.Net to be a flexible and reliable hosting provider: "They worked with us to create, customize, and configure environments for each one of our clients," says one testimonial. Another reports that "Atlantic.Net continues to deliver advanced IT architectural design and security guidance."
Connectria offers HIPAA-compliant hosting for both public and private clouds, including AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform. They can also provide 24/7 remote monitoring and administration of any legacy, on-premises servers until you're ready to migrate.
Other features include a set of healthcare IT tools called HyperCare, and an all-in-one cloud management platform called TRiA that comes with over 200 "compliance packs." These can alert you to issues, set up automated "bot" responses, and more. You'll also get Business Associate Agreements, access to the Compliance Team to address any issues, and help with audit preparation.
All of Connectria's data centers meet PCI standards, and have undergone third-party audits. You can test it out with a 14-day free trial, or request a customized quote. The cost for TRiA cloud management is based on how much you spend on cloud servers per month. It starts at $199 per month if your total spend is under $2K, and $399 per month if your monthly cloud spend is under $10K.
$199 - $399 per month for TRiA, based on cloud spend
>Server Types: Cloud >Database Backups >24/7 Support >More features at Connectria
Pros & Cons of Connectria Web Hosting
Connectria Web Hosting helps you maintain HIPAA-compliant infrastructure no matter what combination of servers you need. It supports a wider range of clouds than many other providers, with a central management platform for self-management. However, pricing can vary widely, so you may need to reach out to get a custom quote.
One customer says that "working with Connectria and AWS has allowed us to bring the focus back to product development. At this point, we barely think about infrastructure." Another says that, "It was nice to sit down with a HIPAA/HITECH compliant hosting company that spoke our language and understood our needs."
GoDaddy is a web hosting provider that also offers standalone HIPAA-compliant email plans. While their web hosting plans aren't HIPAA compliant, this may be a good option if you only need email hosting. You'll be able to make sure that all electronic Protected Health Information (ePHI) is sent securely, and avoid liability due to non-compliance.
You'll need to use Office 365 Business for this offer, so you'll have to choose either the Business Premium plan for $8.99 per user per month, or Premium Security for $16.99 per user per month. All plans include 50 GB of email storage, 1 TB of secure storage, mobile apps for all of your devices, 24/7 customer support, and a 30-day money-back guarantee. The Premium Security plan offers advanced email security, archiving, and backups, including secure encryption for all Protected Health Information.
You can access your email using the Outlook web app, and install Office on up to five devices per user. You'll also have to sign a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) in order to establish HIPAA-compliance for your Office 365 account.
Business Premium: $8.99/user/month
Premium Security: $16.99/user/month
>24/7 support >Database backups >50 GB email storage >More features at GoDaddy
Pros & Cons of GoDaddy Web Hosting
GoDaddy Web Hosting is one of the few providers that offers HIPAA-compliant email as a standalone package, although it only supports Microsoft Office 365. If you're willing to subscribe to the Business Premium plan, and don't need additional web hosting, then this is a cost-effective way to maintain compliance for all email communications.
>30-day money-back guarantee >99.9% uptime
>HIPAA compliant email hosting only >Prices increase after first year
What Customers Are Saying
Several GoDaddy customers say they found the platform easy to work with. One user says that, "GoDaddy, in my experience, is very good for email platforms with a custom domain name. They use the Microsoft 365 platform for handling emails, which is nice, especially if you already use Outlook."
HIPAA Vault is one of the only hosting providers on our list that offers flat-rate plans for both Windows and Linux servers. With the Linux hosting plan, you'll get a dedicated database server for $349 per month, along with live 24/7 support and a 15-minute response time for major alerts. It also comes with 6 CPU, 18.75 GB RAM, and 80 GB SSD storage.
The Windows hosting plan starts at $599 per month, and includes a managed firewall, log archive management, disaster recovery, intrusion detection, and more. You'll get 6 CPU, 18.75 GB RAM, and 125 GB storage, plus 24/7 support.
Both plans are backed by a True HIPAA Guarantee as well as a 30-day money-back guarantee, and have been verified for compliance by a third-party auditor. Other tools that are included are SSL certificate management, two-factor authentication, on and offsite backups, and anti-DDoS management.
To get the lowest rates, you'll need to commit to a 12-month term, with "Cancel Anytime" plans costing $100 more per month. If you aren't looking for web hosting, you can also explore their other products, such as HIPAA-compliant email and fax solutions.
>Disk Space: 80 GB >24/7 Support >Database Backups >More features at HIPAA Vault
Pros & Cons of HIPAA Vault Web Hosting
HIPAA Vault's clear pricing structure and 30-day money-back guarantee make it less of a risk for healthcare professionals and small businesses becoming HIPAA-compliant for the first time. Their services may not be as robust as some of their competitors, but their True HIPAA Guarantee and 15-minute response time should give you peace of mind.
>15-minute critical alert response time >Flat rate web hosting
>Lowest rates require 12-month contract
What Customers Are Saying
HIPAA Vault is popular with therapists and other healthcare practitioners. One customer says: "The HIPAA Vault secure email is essential for my job as a mental health therapist and I think the structure is clean and easy to use." Another user says, "They perform for us just like they were on payroll…. Their service is top notch."
Hostway offers HIPAA-compliant healthcare hosting that's third-party reviewed, certified by HITRUST, and includes the required Business Associates Agreements. It's designed to help you store electronic health records (EHR) and electronic medical records (EMR) securely in the cloud, with a 15-minute incident response plan.
You can choose from managed servers, private cloud, or both, with clusters that can be expanded in under three days. Your data is monitored 24/7, with quarterly training for all staff members in security and compliance. You'll also get a dedicated Technical Account Manager, log collection, vulnerability scanning, and more.
You'll need to schedule a consultation in order to get a quote, but standard web hosting and VPS hosting plans start at $6.95 to $19.95 per month. Hostway also offers domain registration for an added fee, as well as easy script installation and a website builder, helping you create a full-featured website while maintaining HIPAA compliance.
Website Starter: $6.95/month
FlexCloud Sites: $12.95/month
Virtual Private Servers: $19.95/month
30 to 90 days
>Disk Space: 50 GB - 1000 GB >Server Types: Cloud, Dedicated, VPS >24/7 Support >More features at Hostway
Pros & Cons of Hostway Web Hosting
Hostway has several hosting options specifically for healthcare providers, making them a good choice for customers who place a strong focus on compliance and security. But Hostway's lowest rates don't include basic features, such as SSL certificates. You may need to pay more or request a custom quote in order to get everything you need.
>24/7 management >15-minute incident response plan
>Relatively high prices
What Customers Are Saying
Several reviews mention the high-quality service they received: "Hostway delivered a rock solid platform, consultation, and ongoing management that made our lives much easier." Another says: "Beyond HIPAA compliance, the HITRUST ongoing certification mandates constant updating and adherence, giving us even more confidence that we are offering our customers the utmost data protection available."
INAP provides HIPAA-compliant hosting as well as colocation, managed hosting, and private cloud hosting. Their secure data centers have 24/7 security and have been audited by a third party to ensure PCI DSS and HIPAA compliance.
If you choose an INAP Private Cloud, you'll get an easy-to-use customer portal to help you manage your resources, as well as 24/7 support from the onboarding team, and a service-level agreement with a guaranteed response time of less than an hour.
If you need more advanced support, you can choose the Managed Cloud, which comes with INAP Intelligent Monitoring and a Smart Workflow system. This includes managed backups, alert remediation, and more. INAP claims that its technicians are trained on multiple platforms and will feel like "an extension of your team."
They also offer managed hosting with AWS and Azure clouds, giving you the power of a major cloud provider without having to navigate the complexities yourself. Other options include bare metal servers, which start at $70 per month.
>Server Types: Managed, Private Cloud, Colocation 24/7 Support >Database Backups >More features at INAP
Pros & Cons of INAP Web Hosting
INAP's customer-focused and SLA-certified architects and technicians mean you'll be in good hands, especially if you use a public cloud like Azure or AWS. They also have a user-friendly customer portal so you can be involved in managing your servers. But without a transparent pricing model, it can be hard to know how well INAP fits into your team's budget.
Several customers mention their positive experience with INAP's support team: "INAP's experts give us peace of mind by excellently managing our Amazon Web Service environment, ensuring our service is secure, scalable, and always available." Another says, "I have a dedicated team and somebody to call who will promptly take care of my needs."
LightEdge offers HIPAA-compliant hosting that's suitable for hospitals, health insurance providers, HR departments, and more. It's been reviewed by a third party to ensure that it meets HITECH Breach Notification Requirements and the HIPAA Security Rule.
LightEdge provides cloud hosting and colocation services, with flexible hosting options so you can determine the right level of security, and scale up at any time. You'll get a risk assessment, recommended security controls, pre-built security policy templates, and security audit support, with data centers located in five U.S. cities.
Other features include multi-factor authentication, a Security Information and Event Management System, a 24/7/365 Virtual Security Operations Center, and advanced firewall options. You'll also get malware protection, file integrity monitoring, and AES 256-bit encryption, whether your data is in transit or at rest.
LightEdge only offers custom packages, so you'll have to request a free call to get a quote. If you're still unsure, they provide a thorough online resource library on HIPAA compliance so you can learn more about their offerings.
>Server Types: Virtual Private Cloud, Dedicated Private Cloud >24/7 Support >Database Backups >More features at LightEdge
Pros & Cons of LightEdge Web Hosting
LightEdge is a security-first hosting provider with an impressive array of monitoring and management features. They're also compliant with several standards, including HIPAA, HITRUST, and PCI. Their enterprise-level offerings may not be suitable for all kinds of healthcare providers, so you'll have to get a pricing quote to know whether or not your team can afford them.
>PCI, ISO, HITRUST and SOC compliance >24/7/365 security monitoring
>Custom quotes only
What Customers Are Saying
One reviewer says that "LightEdge allows dynamic changes for any unexpected requirements by health centers and is reliable with their commitments." Another says LightEdge "has decades of experience providing network services and managed hosting for thousands of businesses" and is a "long-time player in the high-tech communications space."
Liquid Web offers a wide range of web hosting packages, with several HIPAA-compliant options designed specifically for health care data. They run their own core data centers, with fully managed servers, locked server cabinets, and 24/7/365 on-site support. They also provide offsite backups and Business Associate Agreements (BAA).
You can choose from Single Server HIPAA Hosting with a dedicated server and Cisco firewall, starting at $343 (Linux) or $383 (Windows) or Multiple Server HIPAA Hosting, which starts at $687 (Linux) or $847 (Windows). Both options come fully managed by Liquid Web's dedicated support team, the Most Helpful Humans in Hosting®.
When it comes to security, Liquid Web protects your data with advanced fire prevention infrastructure, an uninterruptible power supply, and multiple security zones and access controls to ensure that no one can gain unauthorized entry. You can also choose the Liquid Web Guardian, a backup solution available for dedicated servers.
Liquid Web's website provides a handy guide to HIPAA for SMBs, demonstrating their commitment to providing HIPAA-compliant hosting to businesses of all sizes.
Single Server: $343/Linux $383/Windows
Multiple Server $687/Linux $847/Windows
>24/7 Support >Website Builder >Database Backups >More features at Liquid Web
Pros & Cons of Liquid Web Web Hosting
Liquid Web only became HIPAA-compliant in 2017, although they have a long history of providing quality web hosting servers to a range of industries. With on-site security and fully managed servers, they offer plenty of flexibility, even if their prices are higher than some of their competitors. They're also known for high-quality customer support.
>Continuous backups >24/7/365 on-site support
What Customers Are Saying
Several reviewers were impressed with Liquid Web's well-rounded service: "Fast loading, secure hosting, daily backups, 100% uptime guarantee, live support via phone or chat, and so much more. It's an excellent fit for our clients and our business." Another says, "Their support is truly heroic, especially in comparison with other hosting companies."
Microsoft Azure is a major cloud provider that offers web hosting, data management, storage, and more, for SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS businesses. While not all of their cloud hosting plans are HIPAA-compliant, they offer services specifically for the healthcare industry that go above and beyond what many other providers offer.
Azure's healthcare offerings pledge to make your organization "future-ready," with tools that can handle operational analytics, continuous patient monitoring, and even genomic data. You can use it to protect electronic health information, support team collaboration, and improve patient engagement with real-time preventative care. Other services are aimed at insurers, pharmaceutical companies, and researchers.
Azure is compliant with over 90 international certifications, making it a great solution for global teams. You can try out the platform for free, which includes over 25 products that are always free and several more that are free for the first 12 months. After that, you'll pay as you go, with pricing based on storage space and which products you use.
Support: $29-$1,000 per month
>Server Types: Cloud, VPS >Database Backups >24/7 Support >More features at Microsoft Azure
Pros & Cons of Microsoft Azure Web Hosting
Microsoft Azure offers a wide range of services that are perfect for high-tech healthcare businesses. While pricing is usage-based, it can be hard to determine how much you're likely to pay without requesting a quote or using the pricing calculator. Also, while 24/7 support is available, you'll have to pay more for Azure Rapid Response services.
>12 months of free services >90+ compliance certifications
>Complex pricing structure >Rapid Response support costs extra
What Customers Are Saying
One customer says that Azure has made it easier to work remotely: "We're all working better together to continue to provide amazing customer support and simplify health services for our members." Another calls it "a solution that combines hardware, artificial intelligence, mobile applications, and the cloud to improve the lives of patients."
OVH is a European-based web hosting provider that offers HIPAA-compliant servers in two U.S. locations: Oregon and Virginia. They offer both public and private clouds, with dedicated infrastructure and VMware technology that's comparable to the platform you might be using for on-premises servers.
Their dedicated cloud servers are compliant for both financial and healthcare data, and have received ISO 27001, CSA STAR, SOC I and II certifications.
OVH's products are designed for the modern healthcare environment, including the rise of BYOD (bring your own device) practices at clinics. You can set up "badge tap" access for devices at your workplace, while also keeping Protected Health Information safe on mobile devices. OVH also offers migration services and data recovery solutions.
While all OVH infrastructure is monitored 24/7, you may need to pay extra for customer support. There are four different options available — Standard, Premium, Business, and Enterprise — depending on what level of expertise and response time you need.
Dedicated Server: $99-$355/month
VPS: $6-$34/ month
>Server Types: Dedicated, VPS, Cloud >24/7 Support >Database Backups >More features at OVH
Pros & Cons of OVH Web Hosting
While OVH is based in Europe, it's suitable for U.S. clients due to its U.S. data centers that are compliant with multiple regulations, including HIPAA. Priority customer support isn't included with all plans, but the VMware platform makes it easy to migrate from an existing on-premises server while maintaining a familiar interface.
>International certifications >2 U.S. data centers
>Premium support costs extra
What Customers Are Saying
Some customers are happy with OVH's infrastructure, but not with its customer support. One reviewer says that "the Hosted Private Cloud is a scalable, flexible, and extremely robust solution," while another says they recommend OVH "if you are professional and know how to manage the system by yourself." If you choose the free support, "you are on your own" and "only get support for critical situations."
Rackspace offers several HIPAA-compliant options for the healthcare industry, including dedicated servers and encrypted email using MS Exchange. If you choose a dedicated server, you'll get an end-to-end solution compete with customized compliance design, 24/7/365 monitoring, network administration, and server management.
Rackspace works with you to develop the optimal hosting environment, while handling virus and malware protection, log analysis, and vulnerability scanning. They can also provide account audits and maintain database backups.
Rackspace is PCI-DSS and HITRUST CSF certified, and offers managed solutions for healthcare services, clinical trials, insurers, and more. They even offer a Data Center Breakout Solution intended to guide you as you transition from an on-premises data center to the cloud. You'll also have access to VMware Server Virtualization tools to help you maintain compliance across multiple platforms.
>Server Types: Cloud Hosting, VPS, Dedicated >24/7 Support >Database Backups >More features at Rackspace
Pros & Cons of Rackspace Web Hosting
Rackspace will walk you through every aspect of the process, from server migration to management. They also offer advisory services and HIPAA-compliant email for those who don't need fully managed web hosting. But with no clear pricing structure and a quote-based sales model, you can expect to pay a lot for their top services.
>Compliance design >24/7/365 monitoring
>Pricing model isn't transparent
What Customers Are Saying
Customers value the level of technical expertise that Rackspace offers: "Anytime you're moving a data center, it's a daunting proposition that takes a lot of planning. Rackspace really came in and managed the project for us." Another says, "They were very smart about how to roll out these capabilities to each business unit."
TrueVault is compliant with HIPAA, GDPR, and CCPA regulations, with a secure API to help you handle data no matter where in the world you operate. You'll be provided with a signed Business Associate Agreement (BAA) and are covered by TrueVault's Cyber Liability/Breach Insurance. You can even tokenize Personally Identifiable Information, keeping consumer data and behavior separate in JSON and BLOB stores.
TrueVault provides both physical and technical safeguards, including audit logging, user authentication, and individual record encryption that doesn't rely on a master key. You'll also be able to set a strong password policy for all users, and access backup copies of every record with immutable document versioning.
What sets TrueVault apart is that you can use it with your existing applications in order to make them HIPAA-compliant, without having to migrate everything to new servers. As TrueVault explains, "you can pick and choose how deep your integration with TrueVault is and how much of the compliance burden you offload."
TrueVault has three pricing plans, Standard, Advanced, and Enterprise, but you'll have to request a quote in order to get specific pricing.
>File storage >24/7 Critical Support >Database Backups >More features at TrueVault
Pros & Cons of TrueVault Web Hosting
TrueVault is a bit different from other providers, in that it's aimed at startups and mobile apps that want to become HIPAA-compliant, such those that offer wearable health tech. TrueVault provides you with a secure API and data storage, so you don't have to build your own solution on AWS or another cloud server. You'll also get some features that other hosts don't provide, such as comprehensive data breach insurance.
>Dedicated account manager >Data breach insurance
>Not a full hosting solution
What Customers Are Saying
TrueVault is primarily used by startups that only need to securely host some of their data. One customer says, "We needed something that was platform agnostic, meaning it had to be HIPAA compliant and that didn't tie us down to a certain technology or platform." With TrueVault, data is "immediately sent using this highly encrypted protocol to a highly encrypted server, which is HIPAA-compliant."
HIPAA Hosting — What You Need to Know
In the late 1990s, the US Congress passed a law called the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) designed to protect individual health records. Regulations related to the law mandate how health records are stored, who can view them, and how they can be released.
Back when the law was implemented, most health records were paper-based. With advances in technology and storage capability, health records are being stored on digital media both online and offline. Even if you are not a health provider and deal with apps involving medical records, you must use procedures that are HIPAA compliant to safeguard patient data. Consequently, if you intend to design a website or app involving healthcare data, you must consider HIPAA based hosting solutions. Let's take a closer look at these solutions that will help make HIPAA compliance much easier.
Reasons for HIPAA Based Hosting
Whether or not you are a health provider, if you deal with medical records you must comply with HIPAA requirements to protect patient data. As more patient records become digitized and become available online, they are increasingly vulnerable to attacks.
One reason to consider HIPAA based hosting is to make compliance easier for websites or mobile applications. The regulations regarding the management of electronic records can be complex and difficult to implement. When you select a HIPAA based hosting provider, you free up valuable time and shift the burden of compliance to your host. Instead of spending time on HIPAA, your team can focus its time and resources developing a great website or app.
Using a HIPAA-based host also helps reduce or prevent liability. If your website or app is found not to follow regulations, your company is subject to government fines and at risk for lawsuits. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) starts enforcement proceedings when it receives a complaint and goes through a review and investigation process. Finally, the case will enter a resolution process where the company or hospital will be ordered to pay fines. In one case, HHS fined New York and Presbyterian Hospital over $3 million because search engines had access to electronic patient data as a result of server misconfiguration.
If you deal with patient data, using a HIPAA based host will help make your customers, healthcare providers, more confident using your service resulting in more sales. It will also help build your client's brand and trust among their customers.
Features of HIPAA Hosting
HIPAA plans are not much different than other hosting plans but include extra features such as data encryption, firewalls, managed hosting services, intrusion detection systems, and use of special security tools. You will still get the standard features of hosting plans available all over the web.
Also, just like any other hosting plan, HIPAA hosting plans feature similar user interfaces for website administration such as cPanel or Plesk. Standard plans for HIPAA hosting that are available include cloud-based plans, VPS, and dedicated server hosting.
Unlike other hosting plans, however, a web hosting company that is HIPAA compliant, would be independently and regularly audited.
Many organizations go above and beyond HIPAA compliance and are certified as SOC 1, SOC 2, and SSAE compliant as well as being audited for HITECH compliance.
What's more, your HIPAA host must be extremely responsive. Though many hosting providers offer 24/7 support every day of the year, this is not sufficient.
The HIPAA hosting provider you select should have guaranteed response times. They should report any security incidents including data breaches and hacking attempts in a timely fashion.
A HIPAA hosting company should have security features that involve multiple aspects which include restricting physical access to the data servers. This includes monitoring the actual physical location and only allowing authorized personnel access.
Finally, the hosting provider should make use of firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention systems, and have staff members that understand HIPAA.
At a minimum, your HIPAA hosting provider should be HIPAA certified. However, you should really consider a hosting company that goes above and beyond this with compliance and certifications in multiple areas including HITECH, SSAE, and SOC 1 and SOC 2.
This is about liability; getting HIPAA hosting provides some amount of insurance. That doesn't mean that you don't still have to take great care with patient data. But having HIPAA hosting reduces your risk.
HIPAA Hosting Isn't Cheap
Since HIPAA compliance requires extra security requirements and monitoring, these plans tend to be more expensive compared to a standard hosting plan.
Prices vary depending on the type of plan but you can easily pay few hundred dollars a month for a plan. But, this is well worth the expense considering the fines and potential liabilities for non-compliance, in some cases totaling millions of dollars for breach of patient data.
When you need HIPAA hosting, you need to consider companies with specialized infrastructure and staff to take care of HIPAA compliance. Some of these companies include Liquid Web and Amazon Web Services. But check all the hosts listed at the top of this page.
Looking for the right HIPAA host? Liquid Web performed extremely well in our recent technical tests. And they provide excellent HIPAA support. Currently, our readers can get special pricing on Liquid Web plans by using this special discount link.
HIPAA Frequently Asked Questions
What is HIPAA?
HIPAA or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act is a law established by the US government to protect individual health records from falling into the wrong hands.
The regulations related to HIPAA ultimately decide how health records are stored, who has access, and how they can be disseminated.
Does HIPAA apply to electronic records?
Though HIPAA was created when paper records were the norm, the act still applies to electronic records. This includes hosting services, storage services, and even computer or mobile phone applications.
Are there free HIPAA-compliant hosting plans?
Because of the extra security features and customer support required for a website to be HIPAA-compliant, it's extremely rare, if not downright impossible, to find a HIPAA-compliant web host that is free. While a higher price tag does not always necessarily mean better quality or service, any web host that offers all of the features needed for HIPAA compliance for free should be treated with extreme caution, and thoroughly investigated. Trying to save on upfront costs by going with a free or inexpensive plan can cost you significantly more if you are found to be non-compliant, and fined.
How are HIPAA regulations enforced?
HIPAA regulations are enforced through Health and Human Services which begins enforcement and thorough investigation once the department receives a complaint.
How do I know if I need HIPAA hosting?
Since this is a legal matter, make sure to consult a legal professional for more information.
However, if you are developing a medical application on any platform that accesses patient data over the web or needs to store patient data on servers accessible from the internet, you need HIPAA based hosting.
What are the consequences of failing to meet regulations?
Companies that fail to meet HIPAA regulations are not only subject to fines from the government, they can also be subject to lawsuits. In one case, a hospital got fined millions of dollars as a result of breach of patient data.
So, for your hosting needs, it is very important to choose a well-reputed HIPAA host especially for applications that deal with patient data.
What are some advantages to using a HIPAA based host?
Having a HIPAA host will not only save you time but also money in terms of implementing a solution that is compliant with HIPAA and taking steps to safeguard patient data.
Using a HIPAA host allows you to outsource these tasks and focus your efforts on application development instead of compliance. It also reduces your legal risk and helps you build trust with clients in the medical community.
Is HIPAA-based hosting expensive?
Since web hosts that specialize in HIPAA need to take extra steps in safeguarding data, meeting regulations, and undergoing audits, the plans provided by these hosts tend to be more expensive than standard hosting plans.
In general, plans can cost hundreds of dollars a month. But, it is worth the cost especially considering legal liabilities when patient data is breached.
What types of certifications should a HIPAA based hosting company have?
Since HIPAA just covers the basics in terms of data protection, many hosting companies go above and beyond being HIPAA certified.
Other certifications a host may have include SOC 1, SOC 2, SSAE, and HITECH. As time goes by, newer certifications may be added as a result of developments in the security industry.
How do I know if my host is really HIPAA compliant?
Most hosting companies cannot just say they are HIPAA compliant since they would incur a huge legal liability. However, you should look for a host that uses HIPAA compliant datacenters.
In fact, according to Mike Klein, the hosting company's datacenter or the company itself should be able to provide a HROC or HIPAA Report on Compliance to you outright or under an NDA (non-disclosure agreement).
What extra features does a HIPAA-based hosting company have?
HIPAA-based hosting companies have all the features a standard hosting plans has plus additional security features.
These features include intrusion detection, intrusion prevention, firewalls, data encryption, and managed hosting as well as the use of special security tools.
What type of support should I get from a HIPAA hosting company?
Your HIPAA hosting provider should not just offer 24/7 support.
They should have guaranteed response times and provide multiple avenues of support including phone, live chat, support tickets, and email. The host should also report all security incidents immediately.
Whether or not your host provides this information, consider speaking to company personnel about support options before purchasing a hosting plan.
What are some qualities that a HIPAA host's staffing should have?
When looking for a HIPAA hosting company, you should take a serious look at the employees who work there.
Find out if the company performs background checks on employees, the types of background checks, and whether or not there are employees who actually understand and have worked with HIPAA.
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